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Music Cities Summit 2018: ‘Celebrity Music Cities’ Panel Recap

On Saturday, May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week 2018. Conference delegates, policy-makers, urban planners, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship.

The morning featured a panel entitled Celebrity Music Cities: How Cities With Global Reputations Tackle Challenge and Leverage Noteworthiness. The panel examined how cities with a rich musical history approach the current challenges facing their music ecosystems, and how that reputation can either be a benefit or a hindrance.

The discussion was moderated by Lynn Ross, who works as a Cultural Planner at the City of Vancouver. Panelists included: Adrian Tonon, City of Detroit; Toronto City Councillor Josh Colle; Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell, Owner/Manager of a prominent record label in Memphis, Tennessee; Omar Lozano from Visit Austin, Austin Tourism.

The conversation kicked off with a discussion of some of the major challenges facing each of the panelists’ cities. Councillor Josh Colle touched on the exciting growth of Toronto as a Music City, but highlighted how this rapid growth puts pressure on every aspect of the music industry – particularly for venue owners and artists who face barriers to affordability and livability.

Adrian Tonon went on to discuss how the economic crisis that plagued the City of Detroit for the last several decades meant that music, film, and other cultural services were delegated to lesser priorities. But the city has been making recent steps towards a strong recovery, and Tonon described how his work leading the Mayor’s Film, Music and Night Time Economy initiatives have helped contribute to the development of the city’s thriving arts and culture scene.

The panel also touched on the role celebrity artists can play in building up and promoting their city on a global stage. Lawrence “Boo” Mitchell highlighted the deep, rich musical history of Memphis that produced legendary icons like Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. Mitchell discussed the importance of not just promoting the biggest names, but to instead use that as a foundation and work towards embracing some of the newer artists whose musical catalogue could also put Memphis on the map.

Councillor Colle went on to reflect on the importance of artists like Drake and The Weeknd, who have become de-facto Toronto ambassadors, and whose success shined a light on youth hip hop scenes that were quietly thriving in cities across Canada.

Another major topic of discussion was the important relationship between city government and music stakeholder groups in the journey to develop their Music City. Detroit’s Adrian Tonon highlighted how critical it was from the city side to ensure all the key players who had been previously working in silos were brought together to have a seat at the table, and in turn, collectively strive towards implementing the city’s strategic music priorities.

Omar Lozano also touched on the uniquely important role that non-profits play in Austin. Organizations like Austin Music People and the Austin Music Venue Alliance have worked with the municipal government on various initiatives, and more broadly, are continuing to make important strides towards progressive change.

Watch a video of the full discussion below, and stay tuned next week for a recap of another panel from the summit.

 

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Smithers Chamber of Commerce and local arts council work to develop music strategy

The Smithers District Chamber of Commerce and the Bulkley Valley Community Arts Council, located in British Columbia, have begun working to create the town’s first comprehensive music strategy. The group hosted a social on May 30th to bring together key stakeholders in the local music industry, and help secure their involvement in the strategy development.

The impetus to begin this project arose out of a Music Cities Toolkit that Music Canada custom-built last spring for the Canadian Chamber of Commerce’s network of over 450 chambers of commerce and boards of trade. The Toolkit was designed to provide Canadian chambers of commerce with a roadmap and guide to activate the power of music in their city.

“We as a group decided we need a music strategy, and we need to understand how music contributes to our economy here in the Bulkley Valley before we can start marketing ourselves as ‘Smithers: the Music City,’” Project Coordinator Liliana Dragowska told The Interior News.

The group received funding through Creative B.C’s Industry Initiatives Program. As Dragowska described, the group began working on the early stages of the strategy that was introduced to attendees at the May 30th event.

A Smithers District Chamber of Commerce release from March 2018 listed the key goals of the Smithers music strategy as:

  1. Gather information to assemble a Smithers music sector inventory that will inform a website. The website will be developed through the Northern Development Initiative Trust’s Marketing Community Development Fund.
  2. Gather preliminary economic information that will create a baseline for all things music.
  3. Conduct a Strength, Weakness, Opportunity and Threats analysis of the music sector in Smithers.
  4. Draft focused recommendations on how to strengthen and grow the music sector in the Smithers area.

According to Chamber Manager Heather Gallagher, the music strategy will include 16 total recommendations aimed at three types of stakeholders: the local government, Chamber of Commerce, and those within the local music community.

The final version of the music strategy will be presented to the Smithers town council on June 26th, 2018.

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Music Cities Summit 2018: ‘Music Officers Meet their Match’ Panel Recap

Grant W. Martin Photography

On Saturday May 12th, Music Canada held its third annual international Music Cities Summit The Mastering of a Music City during Canadian Music Week 2018. City professionals, policy-makers, industry executives, and music community members all gathered to discuss topics related to the value of music, its economic impact, and its relationship to innovative city planning and creative entrepreneurship.

The morning kicked off with a panel discussion between Seattle, WA’s Kate Becker and London, ON’s Cory Crossman, two Music Officers doing exciting work to build up their Music City. The topic centered around exploring their methods of turning music strategies into concrete results, and learning about different approaches they used to address common barriers and problems.

The Music Officers began the conversation discussing the importance of developing a comprehensive music strategy that allows for flexible planning and policy-making. Cory Crossman, London’s Music Industry Development Officer, touched on the importance of branding when developing a profile as a Music City. He highlighted how the city’s path to promoting a ‘rock and roll revitalization’ in London was a key component of their approach and direction.

Crossman also discussed the growing economic and cultural impact of music tourism for a city. Events like the Jack Richardson London Music Week, Jack Richardson Music Hall Of Fame, and the upcoming 2019 JUNO Awards have greatly contributed towards elevating London’s brand as a Music City attraction.

Kate Becker, Director of Seattle’s Office of Film and Music followed up with touching on some of Seattle’s major music accomplishments. Some of the most notable milestones include an annual City of Music Career Day (now in its seventh year) and the Sea-Tac Airport “Experience the City of Music” initiative, a public-private partnership that features local musicians playing throughout the airport and exciting overhead announcements by renowned Seattle artists, such as Macklemore.

The Music Officers also discussed the importance of ensuring an adherence to safety principles and conditions at music venues or events. Becker reflected on an example in 2015 where the city was faced with a troubling spike in incidences of drug-related issues at Electronic Dance Music (EDM) festivals and clubs. To address this, she implemented an approach that incorporated the input and participation of all the important players in this issue: promoters, venue owners, medics, harm-reduction experts, and more.

In particular, the Office of Film + Music collaborated with the city to host an annual ‘Music Safety Summit’ (now in its 4th year) that serves as a crucial public forum for key actors to work together towards progressive and effective solutions. Becker highlighted how this collaborative approach serves as a model that her office tries to utilize to address different situations that arise.

Becker and Crossman also touched on the critical importance of demonstrating the economic value of music to a city. Crossman credited the London Live Music Census as a major factor in gaining city and political support for the music strategy, and mentioned taking inspiration from Becker’s approach by ensuring that economic impact was measured and incorporated into policy-making. Becker agreed, and discussed how a 2008 economic impact study on Seattle’s music scene was the driving force behind the Office of Film + Music being established.

Prior to taking questions from audience members, Becker and Crossman ended their discussion with a reflection on the importance of audience development, and ensuring that the fans and public are properly engaged and connected.

Watch a video of the full discussion below, and stay tuned next week for a recap of another exciting panel.

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Video: Amy Terrill’s Opening Remarks at 2018 Music Cities Summit

On Saturday May 12th, Music Canada launched its new report Keys to a Music City: Examining the Merits of Music Offices, Boards and Night Mayors at the third annual Mastering of a Music City Music Cities Summit during Canadian Music Week.

Executive Vice President Amy Terrill discussed the report during her opening remarks at the summit, and touched on some key highlights and takeaways.

This report serves as a follow-up to Music Canada’s groundbreaking 2015 study The Mastering of a Music City, which the summit was named after. Keys to a Music City draws on in-depth interviews with practitioners in 17 cities globally, and analyzes some of the most common structures utilized by municipalities to develop and implement their music strategies and policies.

The report examines the various ways that music officers, music advisory boards, arms-length music organizations, and Night Mayors are used in different jurisdictions, and provides important insights into the functions, advantages, and limitations of these models.

In her remarks, Terrill highlighted how Keys to a Music City offers a guide to both city officials and community members on how they can play an important role in building their Music City. The report also provides insights and answers to some of their most pressing and relevant questions.

Watch Amy Terrill’s full opening remarks below, and stay tuned to our blog for more coverage from the Music Cities Summit in the coming weeks.

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Music Canada releases new report Keys to a Music City: Examining the Merits of Music Offices, Boards, and Night Mayors

May 11, 2018, Toronto: Today, Music Canada releases its latest report, Keys to a Music City: Examining the Merits of Music Offices, Boards, and Night Mayors. The report is being launched in advance of the third annual Music Cities Summit at Canadian Music Week, and serves as a successor to Music Canada’s groundbreaking 2015 study The Mastering of a Music City.

Drawing from in-depth interviews with practitioners in 17 cities across the world, the report provides a detailed analysis of some of the most common structures utilized by municipalities to develop and implement their music strategies and policies. Some of these existed prior to 2015, while others are more recent phenomena.

“Since the release of The Mastering of a Music City, additional questions have been raised by those seeking to develop their own Music City about the advantages and limitations of different models,” says Amy Terrill, Executive Vice President of Music Canada. “With this new report, cities can find answers to their most pressing questions, gain insights from experts in the field, and learn from the experiences of other cities.”

Keys to a Music City examines the various ways that music officers, music advisory boards, arms-length music organizations, and Night Mayors are used in different jurisdictions, and offers a guide on how both city officials and community members can play an important role in building their Music City.

Most importantly, this report identifies critical conditions for success and 10 key lessons learned by experts who have sought to leverage the many social and economic benefits of a vibrant, actively promoted music economy.

Supporting quotes:

“Music Canada has done it again –  Keys to a Music City: Examining the Merits of Music Offices, Boards, and Night Mayors is a deeply researched and essential resource for public officials, industry leaders, academics, non-profit activists, musicians and all other stakeholders eager to identify and adapt effective models to their own communities.”  Michael Bracy, Cofounder, Music Policy Forum

“A music city is more than a tagline. It is a process. Music is the heartbeat of sociability when people gather with family, friends and acquaintances. And a city with a plan for music is a city with a plan for its people. Music Canada’s report Keys to a Music City, along with their previous report The Mastering of a Music City provide the most comprehensive and strategically organized resources on how to become a music city.”  – Jim Peters, President, Responsible Hospitality Institute

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For more information:
Corey Poole, Music Canada
cpoole@musiccanada.com
+1 (647) 808-7359

About Music Canada
Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada:  Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also works with some of the leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists in the promotion and development of the music cluster.

 

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Music Canada EVP Amy Terrill’s remarks at the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study on Cultural Hubs

This morning, Music Canada’s Executive Vice President Amy Terrill participated in the Standing Committee on Canadian Heritage’s study on Cultural Hubs and Cultural Districts in Canada.

Her remarks, which pulled from Terrill’s extensive Music Cities research, including The Mastering of a Music City report, are included below.

Remarks (check against delivery): 

Chair MP Dabrusin,

Distinguished members of the committee,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to speak with you today.  I’d like to commend you on your study as it is an active topic of discussion currently across the country.

My interest stems from my work on Music Cities which we began at Music Canada in 2011.

We define Music Cities as a municipality of any size that has a vibrant music economy which is intentionally supported and promoted.

Since 2014 I’ve led our study of close to 30 international cities and become one of the world’s leading thinkers on the topic.   I’ve advised cities on every continent and spoken at countless events.  I’m an active member of music city committees in Vancouver and Toronto.

Music Canada published a roadmap for the development of a Music City in 2015 and since then about a dozen Canadian cities or regions have taken that roadmap and begun to develop music strategies – including most recently Ottawa which released a strategy just two weeks ago.

 

One of the most important components of a Music City is the availability of spaces and places – to rehearse, record, perform – It’s also likely the top issue identified in Canadian communities.

Some of the common concerns that arise in public surveys and focus groups relating to music are:

  1. Lack of affordable rehearsal spaces; live-work spaces – and housing in general
  2. Pressure on small grassroots venues – affordability pressures – and pressures that come about from mixed use areas – venue closures are creating gaps in what we call the venue ladder which is needed to adequately incubate artists
  3. Heavy red tape is also cited
  4. The need for greater audience engagement
  5. And greater opportunities to collaborate – to connect with other professionals – both within music – and also across the cultural sectors

Creative hubs and cultural districts can, in their own ways, respond to these commonly identified needs and in so doing accomplish larger policy, economic, or cultural goals.

 

In our Music City investigation – we have identified three typical formats for creative hubs:

  • Hubs that are artist-centric with recording facilities, rehearsal and performance spaces, workshops, access to professional services like lawyers or accountants. The Kitchener Public Library is emerging as a cultural hub of this kind.
  • A music business incubator like you might see for other industries providing hot desks, networking events, business development support and training.
  • Or a combination of the two; The Music District in Fort Collins Colorado is a great example. 4000 square feet with programming aimed at both of the two groups, plus outreach to the broader community.

Cultural districts, on the other hand, allow municipalities, in particular, the flexibility to design rules and regulations that can be used to nurture creative activities and organizations in a set geographic area.

Both of these tools are ultimately about creating spaces and places for cultural uses.

 

As you consider this topic and how best the federal government can support them there are two key things I’d like you to remember:

Music spaces are sometimes not what you might expect.

A large portion are not buildings built specifically for a music purpose.  Likely half of the inventory is made up of multi-use, repurposed or unusual spaces.  Bars, restaurants, coffee shops, libraries, retail spaces, micro-breweries, repurposed industrial properties – to name a few.

In large cities and small towns – places for musical creation and performance are emerging from unique raw materials.

Similarly creative hubs do not fit a tight definition – I encourage you to think in broad terms about what qualifies as a creative hub.

And secondly this network of cultural spaces is composed of a mix of for-profit and not-for-profit– both are critical for the sustenance of our cultural sector.

The same artists who perform at not-for-profit venues, perform at for-profit venues – it really makes no difference.

Our cultural districts are also made up of this mix.

Commercial entities – as an example music venues or music studios – are important tenants in cultural districts and struggle with some of the same challenges facing their non-profit cousins, but typically do not qualify for federal funding programs.

Queen Street West was mentioned in the department’s testimony.  One of Queen West’s most iconic and longest-serving operators – the Legendary Horseshoe Tavern – is only able to maintain its space thanks to the generosity of the building’s owners.  Should the landlord choose to charge market rent – the Horseshoe could not remain.

Other jurisdictions have recognized the important contributions of the commercial sector – and that they too face affordability pressures – and heightened demands from nearby residents to mitigate sound – and have made loans or grants available to venues to upgrade their facilities or acquire specialized equipment.

This is something that could be considered in an enhanced funding program.

Again – I applaud you for your study.

Thank you and I look forward to expanding on some of these issues in the Q&A.

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Ottawa City Council approves City’s first Music Strategy

Earlier today, Ottawa City Council officially adopted the Ottawa Music Strategy, a three-year roadmap to strengthen Ottawa’s music industry and establish Ottawa as a global music city. On April 3, 2018, Ottawa’s Finance and Economic Development Committee approved the three-year strategy, which was then brought to Council for consideration this morning.

Developed in partnership with the Ottawa Music Industry Coalition (OMIC), the Ottawa Music Strategy would make more City-owned spaces available for music, promote safer spaces for music and integrate music in strategies for economic development and tourism.

The Ottawa Music Strategy was first announced by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson in March 2017, leading up to Ottawa’s role as the host city for the 2017 JUNO Awards. Following this announcement, OMIC assembled a group of music industry representatives and local business and community leaders, known as the Ottawa Music Strategy Task Force. The 15-member group was asked to envision what Ottawa might look like in 2030 following the implementation of a successful music strategy, and to develop a series of practical recommendations that can be implemented.

The Task Force has set six Phase 1 recommendations for the City to implement in 2018, including:

  1. Establish a Music Development Officer Position
  2. Provide multi-year operational funding to OMIC
  3. Promote a music-friendly regulatory environment
  4. Integrate music into economic development and tourism strategies
  5. Make more City-owned space available for music
  6. Contract more local musicians

Furthermore, to mobilize the local music industry through its association, the Task Force has set the following 2018 recommendations for OMIC:

  1. Run a campaign to broaden membership
  2. Organize regular industry forums
  3. Develop a long-term strategy for undeserved communities

In November 2017, the City’s Draft Budget 2018 committed $100,000 to support the Ottawa Music Strategy, which the Task Force, subject to approvals by City Council through its annual budget processes, hopes to see matched through 2020 with Phase 2 of the Strategy’s recommendations.

The full Ottawa Music Strategy can be viewed on the OMIC website.

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Mayor Gregor Robertson shares new details on the Vancouver Music Strategy during JUNOs Week in Vancouver

Vancouver’s Mayor, Gregor Robertson, announced this morning at the JUNO Host Committee’s Music Cities Forum that the Vancouver Music Strategy will be presented to council in summer of 2018. The strategy has been in development since mid-2016, led by the Vancouver Music City Steering Committee with input from an Advisory Committee.

“There’s no doubt we have enormous potential in music and sound, particularly given the scale of our creative industries,” Robertson told the Music Cities Forum crowd.

In a City of Vancouver release, Robertson expanded on the Strategy’s goals: “Vancouver is home to a growing number of world-class artists who are building a vibrant and diverse music scene in our city. The Vancouver Music Strategy will help our artists to thrive—not just survive—by boosting our creative economy and seizing opportunities to grow our local music industry.”

The Strategy will be informed by two concurrent studies that received support from the BC Music Fund’s Research Program: Music BC’s City of Vancouver Music Ecosystem study, also funded by FACTOR and conducted by Sound Diplomacy, and Music Canada Live’s Economic Impact Assessment of Live Music in BC, facilitated by Nordicity. Both studies are expected to be completed in spring of 2018.

“This is a pivotal time for the City of Vancouver and British Columbia as we look to safeguard the long-term viability of the music sector within the creative economy. Music BC and the [Vancouver] Music City Steering Committee are committed to ensuring that these findings are used to reach our common goals of a vibrant and sustainable industry that will allow our artists and music industry professionals to thrive on the global stage,” said Alex Grigg, Executive Director of Music BC and Co-chair of the Vancouver Music City Steering Committee, in the City release. “This will be a benchmark for Music BC to work with other cities and municipalities across the province to implement like-minded strategies.  Music BC would like to thank the City of Vancouver, the Province of BC, FACTOR and all of our stakeholders for your continued support.”

It is a thrilling day for music in Vancouver and the province of British Columbia, as the Government of BC also announced a new music fund this morning called AMPLIFY BC. The excitement over the two announcements was palpable at the Music Cites Forum.

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British Columbia music community celebrates new music fund, AMPLIFY BC

Vancouver, March 22, 2018: Music BC and Music Canada today applaud the Government of British Columbia’s announcement of a new music fund for the province called AMPLIFY BC. Administered through Creative BC, the new Fund will provide much-needed support for the development of BC artists and musicians, music companies, skills development and live music production, stimulating economic growth and activity in the sector.

“Music Canada would like to applaud the Government of BC and Minister Beare for this important investment which demonstrates their confidence in the music sector,” says Amy Terrill, Executive Vice President of Music Canada. “The intense interest in the former BC Music Fund’s suite of programs underscores that BC is home to a vibrant, diverse and engaged music community ready to take their songs and businesses to the next level. With this new investment BC will continue to benefit from leveraged private and other government dollars, and ensure the BC music sector remains competitive with other jurisdictions.”

The announcement was made during JUNOs Week, as the Canadian music industry was congregated in Vancouver for the 47th annual JUNO Awards, celebrating excellence in Canadian music while also showcasing Vancouver, and the province’s music sector to the rest of the country.

“This is a great day for the province’s music scene allowing us to build on the momentum of the last two years,” says Alex Grigg, Executive Director of Music BC. “In this time, our industry has focused on helping BC artists develop their careers and showcase their talent around the world, boost business in BC studios, create greater opportunities for live music performances that bolster activity in our communities, and facilitate professional development so that we can build a stronger, more sustainable industry. On behalf of the staff, board of directors and the BC music industry we extend our gratitude to the Government of BC and Minister Beare for their continued support and investment into the BC Music sector.”

Music BC and Music Canada would also like to thank all members of the BC music community who participated in the effort to secure provincial funding and shared their insights, experiences and success stories. The one-year investment of $7.5 million will contribute to BC’s strong and vibrant communities and also benefit BC tourism, arts and creative industries, and small business development.

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For more information:

Corey Poole, Music Canada
cpoole@musiccanada.com
(647) 808-7359

Neesha Hothi, Music BC
nh@neeshcommunications.ca
(604) 715-6057

 

About Music Canada
Music Canada is a non-profit trade organization that represents the major record companies in Canada: Sony Music Entertainment Canada, Universal Music Canada and Warner Music Canada. Music Canada also works with some of the leading independent record labels and distributors, recording studios, live music venues, concert promoters, managers and artists in the promotion and development of the music cluster. For more on Music Canada, please visit www.musiccanada.com

About Music BC
Music BC Industry Association is a not for profit association serving the for profit and non-profit music industry, including artists from all genres, industry professionals, service providers, studios, promoters, venues, festivals, producers, agents, managers and educational institutions. For more on Music BC, please visit www.musicbc.org

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Barrie-Simcoe County music strategy envisions nationally-recognized ‘constellation’ of music scenes

On Wednesday, March 7 at the Five Points Theatre (formerly the Mady Centre for the Performing Arts) in downtown Barrie, Ontario, representatives from CultureCap and Nordicity unveiled the brand-new Barrie-Simcoe County Music Strategy. The Strategy was informed by a recent survey that garnered more than 270 responses from community members across Simcoe County, as well as consultations with local artists, labels, venues, tourism officials and municipal staff from local governments.

Combining various independent data sources, an inventory and map of musical resources in Simcoe County was constructed. 256 music businesses were identified in the County, mostly concentrated in five clusters: Barrie, Midland, Orillia, Wasaga Beach and Collingwood. As such, the Strategy sets a bold vision that “Simcoe County will be nationally-recognized as a constellation of distinct local music scenes committed to artistic ambition” within three years, where its distinct scenes shine brighter when united.

To reach this goal by 2021, the Strategy proposes the following mission for Simcoe County governments and the music community:

  • Build the foundation to support and advocate for music
  • Connect people in the music community, both internally and externally
  • Streamline regulatory pathways
  • Promote accessibility to reasonably-priced rehearsal spaces
  • Tell stories and build an identity to bolster a local star system

42% of the financial activity of music businesses in the County is generated in the summer season, and the Strategy suggests creating a cluster in the live music sector with festivals, venues and artists, and also framing Simcoe County as a place that “lets festivals happen.”

The project is being spearheaded by many local partners: Regional Tourism Organization 7 (RTO7), Simcoe County, the City of Barrie, the City of Orillia, the Town of Collingwood and the Central Ontario Music Council (MusicCO).

To guide the execution of the Strategy, a collaborative organizational structure in which MusicCO acts as a coordinating body of several Local Municipal Music Committees, beginning with Barrie, Orillia and Collingwood, is proposed.

Stay tuned for updates from the project’s partners in the near future as the results of the study and the full Barrie-Simcoe County Music Strategy are officially released.

 

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